I have to admit that I'm not much of a TV watcher. I view Diane's Knitabulls podcast every week, and she has a section where she reviews the shows she and her husband watch. To be honest, they sound dreadful. I'm not a fan of "reality tv" and the idea of putting a camera crew in with a bunch of bored rich housewives with nothing to do fills me with horror.
The only 2 shows I watch religiously are Grimm and Once Upon a Time. And occasionally Castle. But that's because they're all online and viewable from my computer.
My viewing tastes run to the nerdy. I love PBS specials.
So when I was looking through the iTunes store yesterday, I noticed in the TV shows section a promo for Frozen Planet. It's a 14-episode BBC production narrated by Sir David Attenborough. I loved his nature series when I was back in high school (back when he was a much younger looking man, I noted with some wryful amusement), and I figured that this would be perfect. I have always had a hankering to go to Antarctica. For me, living somewhere like McMurdo Research station would be perfect. As long as I could get an internet connection and could bring enough yarn and needles, I'd be set for life. I'm a little anti-social, so the solitude of Antarctica (or up north in the Arctic) would be perfect for me.
Did you know that the biggest danger they face down there is fire? Fascinating.
Anyway, Frozen Planet chronicles nature through the seasons at both of the poles. The photography is wonderful and it's absolutely gripping. There was a section dealing with killer whales and how they band together to create waves in order to knock the seals off the ice floes in order to eat them. It was aboslutely riveting. So if you have $25 to spare and are looking for some great TV viewing, I highly recommend Frozen Planet.
Then when I clicked on the "Related" tab, I also noticed Life, which is another BBC series. There are fewer episodes (only 10), but they're longer. They also have absolutely breathtaking photography and cover different types of flora and fauna all around the world. I was particularly intrigued by the plight of the red poison arrow frog who carries her tadpoles on her back one by one to deposit them into little pools of water in bromeliads up in the trees. She then lays unfertilized eggs to feed them.
The Life series is also narrated by David Attenborough. It's also a two-thumbs up offering. I can't wait to finish blogging so that I can knit and watch these nerdy wonders.
But it has been three weeks since I last blogged, so I figured I should at least offer something.
I have no new yarn offerings to show, because I haven't been ordering any yarn. I haven't joined any sock clubs either. If I can swing it, I'll try to join the RSC club in March, but if I can't do it, it's not the end of the world.
I got a beautiful package from Christine (mapleweave on Ravelry). She had knitted a bunch of cowls out of Malabrigo Rios (I think -- or was it Rasta?), and she sent me a gorgeous one in shades of pink and purple. I got Princess to model it for me. She doesn't look happy, but the focus is on the beautiful cowl anyway. [ETA: it is Rasta - check the link].
Love, love, love.
Christine also sent a little prosperity frog. He now keeps company with Amphibia Jr. and will be helping model my FOs.
Since I last blogged, I have finished two pairs of socks and knit another sock.
I just finished the second Icy Sidewalks in Handmaiden Casbah. I think the colour is Massala. This is how much yarn is left. I love the colours in the skein and in the ball. But in the sock? Not so much.
I used a dishcloth pattern for these. I called them Icy Sidewalks because of the sideways slipped yarn. Given the current weather here, that's appropriate.
[ETA: Friggin' animal hair -- it's everywhere. ]
For the first sock I did a double gusset decrease on the heel. For the second sock, I did a single sole gusset decrease. I thnk I like the double decrease better. Oh well. Live and learn.
Even though there's cashmere in the yarn, the socks aren't all that soft to the touch. I know some people really love the Casbah, but I think that the yardage is too short for the price, and it's only 9% cashmere and it's not super soft. There's no comparison to something like Pagewood Farms Alyeska which is I think only 10% cashmere.
Anyway, the second sock seems to be a little bigger than the first. I have no idea why. I used the exact same number of stitches and rows and the same size needles. It must be a gauge issue.
Anyway, I don't particularly like the way the colours end up pooling. I was thinking the sideways slip would help to ease some of the pooling, but it doesn't really.
In fact, these are actually pretty hideous. But they're socks and they'll do for winter.
The seocnd pair I finished was the Haystacks using (oddly enough) Fleece Artist Sea Silk. The pattern is a great pattern; it goes very quickly because of only having the pattern on one of the four needles. I did sole gusset decreases for these as well. Princess has claimed them since she made me feel guilty by pointing out that I haven't made many socks for her lately.
[Notice Prosperity Frog front and centre].
I'm not even keeping track of the 26 pair plunge stuff, so I have no idea how many socks I've knit since June or whenever that thing started. I'm really not good at this organized knitting stuff. I just like to knit.
So the next sock which I did was the Blackbird sock by Cookie A for the 2009 RSC club. The yarn is Socks that Rock Lightweight, and as it's an older offering, it's only 360 yards. I have pretty serious concerns about whether I'll be able to finish the second sock with what I have left. It will be touch and go, methinks.
Anyway, I love the pattern, and continued the feather pattern down the heel. The pictures are kind of dark because, frankly, the yarn is dark. I am not always a fan of how the BMFA patterns are laid out and written. I found the instructions for the ribbing between the feather columns to be poorly written, and I had to figure it out on my own. I ended up doing a ktbl thorugh the first stitch of every row to keep things tight.
I love the pattern and will do the second sock pretty soon.
I have a dishcloth started but not finished.
Quinn asked today if I could knit him a cowl or a scarf or something. We're having outrageous amounts of snow and stuff right now, so I think he feels the need for something around his neck when he's outside. He doesn't have any scarves. I hate knitting scarves. I'll knit him a cowl.
Of course that set off the whole sibling rivalry thing with Princess muttering about how I will never knit her a sweater even though she's asked a bunch of times and I tolder her it would be cheaper and faster for her to go to Forever 21 and order an acrylic sweater, but I bought $200 worth of yarn to make a sweater for Quinn even though she's been asking me for a sweater for years blah blah blah blah blah.
That, in a nutshell, is why I hate obligation knitting and why I will never knit sweaters, and I most definitely will never knit anything but socks / hats / mittens for my children. It wears me down. The whole sweater for Quinn thing is already an albatross around my neck, and now it's even worse because there is sibling guilt associated with it.
This is also why I don't do gift knitting.
I didn't make any resolutions for the year, but if I did, they would be along the lines of the following:
1) Knit what I want, when I want, and for whom I want. Nothing else.
2) Try to knit some pairs of things which are supposed to come in pairs.
3) Knit from stash. (That's an easy one this year).
4) Maybe try some things like colourwork. Or not. Do whatever feels right. See number 1.
I am a horrible joiner and an epic failer at resolutions. I think my 2012 resolution was to Knit. I did some of that. At least that was somewhat successful.
We're having far too much snow for my liking. And I'm a Weather Network app addict, so I feel the need to check the forecast about 18 times a day. And I check the 14-day forecast and give myself heart attacks when I see things like 25-35 cm of snow predicted for January 30 (which has since changed). Currently we're looking at 20 -30 cm next Saturday (after 5-10 on Friday) and another 5-10 cm next Sunday. I think I am just going to hibernate. I hate shovelling. And it's freezing out.
Blech. I'd rather stay in and watch nerd biology shows and knit. What a plan; I think that's what I'll do. But at some point I do have to go out and shovel today's white offering.
Yesterday things were so bad that I started out for work and had to turn around after 20 minutes and after making zero progress down the road. The Lad had a 9:00 am class yesterday and he left at 8:00. At 10:00 he was still stuck in traffic and decided to come home. He made it back by 10:45. Needless to say, he didn't make that class, but he did make the later class.
I have been listening to audiobooks. I just finished The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It was amazing, and the narration by Humphrey Bower was even more amazing. It takes place in South Africa, and Humphrey Bower completely nailed the South African accent. Before that I listened to Four Fires, which was also amazing.
I recently discovered the 2KnitLitChicks podcast and am very much enjoying that. I don't think all the episodes are available on iTunes, though. It seems to start around episode 17. I'll have to check out their blog.
I've also been reading the Detective Logan MacRae series by Stuart McBride. I'm on book #6. They're genius. If you like gritty police noir books, these are for you.
Up next: find some sort of cowl pattern and enough yarn to do it for The Lad so that I can stoke the fires of sibling rivalry.
I leave you with some dog pictures.
The three stooges:
Bastian the bobble-head: